Council introduces 'convenience fee' for using your mobile phone to pay for parking


Cheshire East Council has introduced a 'convenience fee' for motorists using their mobile phone service to pay for parking.

The Council launched the RingGo scheme in 2015, which lets you pay for your parking with a credit or debit card, rather than using cash at a machine.

The scheme has recently been extended to incorporate the majority of the Council's pay and display car parks and at the begging of the month they introduced a 'convenience fee' of 20p.

The new few applies to all transactions over 40p and applies to Broadway Meadow, South Drive, Spring Street multi-storey car park and The Carrs car parks in Wilmslow.

A spokesperson for Cheshire East Council, said: "We now offer a variety of payment options to our residents and visitors. In addition to RingGo, coin payments, contactless and chip and pin options for debit and credit cards are also available.

"There is no convenience fee for using debit or credit cards or making cash payments. Conditions for use are clearly stated on all our machines.

"The convenience fee has been implemented in conjunction with the installation and commissioning of our new pay-and-display parking machines. This allows the council to facilitate the continuation of this useful provision but to pass on the cost to the service user and not the council tax payers of Cheshire East.

"If regular users of the cashless mobile app solution don't want to pay the convenience fee, there are a number of alternative payment options available.

"We only allow 'top-ups' on long-stay car parks where motorists are permitted to park for a full day. When one full-day session expires, a top-up can be made. In this instance, a further convenience fee would be applied.

"We don't allow top-ups on short stay car parks as their primary purpose is to encourage and facilitate shoppers and visitors to our town centres. We need to ensure an appropriate turnaround of available spaces.

"The convenience fee is only applied to transactions above 40p and there are car parks throughout the borough where parking sessions are at this level or below – such as the Town Hall in Macclesfield, The Carrs in Wilmslow, South Street in Alderley Edge, Booths in Knutsford along with the Antrobus Street, Princess Street and Fairground car parks in Congleton."

Cheshire East Council, Parking, Parking , RingGo


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Julian Barlow
Wednesday 23rd August 2017 at 4:24 pm
It's heartening to see a council so otherwise inept, putting so much effort and imagination into finding new ways to rip off it's constituents.
Heloise Graham
Wednesday 23rd August 2017 at 4:36 pm
That's a shame, it will discourage use. So they will have to keep maintaining and collecting from machines which otherwise might have been phased out....duh!
Russell Young
Wednesday 23rd August 2017 at 4:58 pm
Convenient for them.

Another grubby money making scheme.
John Fallows
Wednesday 23rd August 2017 at 5:42 pm
Equates close to a 50% surcharge for some parking ... so you will pay with cash ... so the council will probably pay that for someone to collect the cash! I used RIngGo fairly regularly - it seemed to me it was win-win for us and the council but hey ho another CEC dumb decision.
James Lamplugh
Wednesday 23rd August 2017 at 6:53 pm
I would despair but CEC is now beyond a joke. App deleted from phone and will go back to the old fashioned method of cash.....or winging it
Steve 'Buck' Taylor
Wednesday 23rd August 2017 at 7:49 pm
No other expression is needed 'rip off', more robbing stealth taxes.
Bob Bracegirdle
Wednesday 23rd August 2017 at 7:56 pm
Don't go to Wilmslow as Macc is much better.
Jonathan Fox
Wednesday 23rd August 2017 at 9:19 pm
This is reverse logic. Surely it is inconvenient for CEC to go to every machine to collect coins. Should the fee not be applied to those still using small change and conversely those using their phone should actually be rewarded for saving them the effort of emptying the machines?

The alternative of course is to avoid the towns altogether and go out of town where the parking is free, thus perpetuating the slow decline of many towns in Cheshire East.
Andrew Wright
Thursday 24th August 2017 at 7:00 am
Mr Fox is spot on. I look forward to the expansion of Handforth Dean shopping complex so that I can enjoy my free parking, a meal and a walk around relevant shops.
Terry Roeves
Thursday 24th August 2017 at 8:17 am
With on line non food shopping here now taking 40p on every 100p being spent and in USA shopping malls using unwanted units for laboratories and offices, CEC are putting a very small nail into the High St coffin lid.
Amazon etc have plenty of nails and very large hammers.
Howard Piltz
Thursday 24th August 2017 at 9:25 am
Why are parking meters so awkward? And in this CEC is no different. Allow us to put in whatever change or notes we have and the machine will tell us how long we can stay. No change? Has the council never heard of the touch-and-go facility on modern cards that most retailers use these days? No need to ring anybody, spend ages hanging about. Sorry CEC, you should have put brain in gear before spending all that money on very poorly designed ticket machines.
David Hoyle
Thursday 24th August 2017 at 10:00 am
Then you wonder why people use out of town shopping centres where parking is free. It would be interesting to hear what our Cheshire East councillors have to say about it.
Rehana Hindle
Monday 28th August 2017 at 1:58 pm
I think you should use Holly Road North and Holly Road south!! These roads have parking restrictions but vans and cars parked all day and their staff use it too -McCarthy and Stone and Pegasus retirement living workmen. Shame as has been going on for over 9 months . Grass verges destroyed and litter left. The main alderley road is in the same situation as can't get traffic wardens or council to sort out illegal parking or police who allow parking of cars half on pavements on the main road from Kings Arms to Coach and Four Pub and traffic reduced to single file most days and long delays.
Chapel lane suffers the same,
Please just don't block the drives and take litter with you!!
It's a real short walk and you won't have to pay as traffic wardens do not want to walk a bit further and are happy to book cars in car parks when over for a few minutes late and now adding an additional charge
Just so you know that the council didn't have traffic wardens for months and now new ones recruited thankfully.
There is still a window for opportunists and come early before the builders start
Our cat got run over again and is recovering, so take care as pets about!!